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[Resolved] Melissa Zobell / Puppy Mill!

5 UT, US Review updated:

Melissa Zobell used to run the Australian Shepherd Rescue of Utah. I heard numerous stories of her harassing people about not spaying/neutering their dogs and I even had a friend who received hate mail from her stating the reasons why dogs should be spayed/neutered and the statistics on pets that were put down each year in shelters. She was banned from the Petco and Petsmart here in Utah County because of her unprofessional attitude and all the complaints filed against her. She was even banned from the local shelters!
Read this story, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20060214/ai_n16226186/
Today, Melissa has over 30 dogs and is breeding them to make her house payments. She is creating designer dogs (pom-a-poos, yorkie-poos, mini aussies, ect.) and charging ridiculous prices ($600-$1200) for these mixed breed dogs. She claims they are "health tested" which means they are seen by a vet (her colleague) and they are current on vaccinations. Non of these dogs are tested for genetic disorders or even screened for eyes, hips or knee problems. To top it all off, she runs her business out of Animal Medical Services and showcases the animals in their adoption center. She no longer supports animal rescue and instead contributes to the over pet population. Melissa should be reported for hoarding animals! Nobody should ever breed dogs as mush as she does. It should be a crime.

  • Resolution statement

    I just want to apologize and retract my original comment that was made. It has taken years for me to realize that what I had said was not only unfair but completely false. I was immature and I worked with a bunch of people that were not good influences. I did not know Melissa personally and I based my opinion of her on what I had heard through the grape vine. She did not deserve this and has had to live with the consequences of my wrong doing. I know Melissa deeply cares for her dogs and she has come a long way and will do anything to ensure the safety and health of her dogs and children. She goes above and beyond to make sure her dogs are well taken care of and does every health test imaginable. If you are considering one of Mellisa's dogs please don't base your decision on a thread that was started by a stupid, young girl who didn't have the facts. Please do your own research and get to know Melissa for yourself. I only wish I had done the same before causing so much permanent damage to someone who has done so much for Australian Shepherds.

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Comments

  • Me
      Sep 03, 2009

    Well I hope you reported her! And if she is in fact running a puppy mill, well that is a crime! You should report her to the local Animal Control so they can get those dogs away from her and treated to find good homes. I can't stand people that do things like this to animals.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      Nov 12, 2009

    Our Aussie had a litter of pups when we lived in Orem. We did not plan the breeding, but it was with the neighbors purebred Aussie. We didn't let her roam, he jumped our fence and got her...anyway we put the pups in the paper to sell she called and chewed us out for having puppies and said she would take them and make sure they were nuetered and find them good homes. I thought well that will be good and then there will not be unwanted dogs out there. come to find out she kept two and started using them inher breeding program. She also nuetered the other pups at 10 weeks old. Her good friend is a vet. Well my vet said that is too young and not healthy for the animal to nueter that young. I hear she has moved to Sanpete county to get away from the stuff and be able to breed with out people bothering her.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Nov 25, 2009

    Wow I wish I had read all this before! We purchased our mini Aussie from her over a year ago. He's a wonderful dog. We called The Aussie Rescue of Utah because we had gotten an Aussie off of ksl.com and she was having some agression problems. She never called back until a couple weeks later. By that point we had given the dog back. She then told us about a puppy she had that would be perfect for our family, which he is. But, they have been completely unprofessional since that meeting. First of all, when we first wet, she refused to let us see her home, which she blamed on her husband, who has some kind of special needs. That should have been a red flag for me. But the vet being on board was reassuring. We took the dog home and he has truly been wonderful. We did neuter him, so I've never really had any problems with her about that. But she did volunteer to pet sit for us. We'd drop the dog at the vet and pick him up there when we got back...seemed innocent enough. She claimed she was saving me the trip driving all the way out to her place. The last time we used her, she told me to meet her at Walmart. I waited for nearly three hours, every time I called she either didn't answer or she would tell me her husband was supposed to be there and she didn't know where he was. She said there was a lot of construction where he was and the traffic can be unpredictable. The last time I called, after I'd left my dog with him, she started bawling and talking about how he had some kind of mental illness and they were doing some kind of intervention that day. I was really weirded out, and asked to get my dog. There wasn't much I could do then, I called my hubby and he said we'd have to pray everything would be okay because our flight was leaving and we needed to go. When we got back, I could get ahold of her for three days, then she called me and I missed the call because I was changing my son's diaper. I called right back and got no answer. I called a half hour later and got chwed out that she'd been calling for hours and that I had thirty minutes to get up to Orem and get my dog, to which I told her she did not call me, that I'd been trying to reach her for days, and that we wanted our dog back. She then tells me she's having an asthma attack and needs to go to the doctor to get a shot. She says she'll bring my dog with her and I can get him there. Then she doesn't tell me where and I can't get ahold of her. I run up to the Orem vet and my dog is not there, either. I was so ticked. I had to wait two more days to get him, and then I picked him up from the vet. I told her I was only paying her for the days that I had originally asked for, because I would have been more than happy to drive our to her place to collect my dog sooner. She didn't argue with me. Before she got there, my boys and I had been out looking at kittens in the rescue area...we'd been looking for a cat and liked the idea of rescuing one. The vet picked one out and he is very sweet and special to our family. We brought him home and he was wonderful, except that he pees on everything to the point that we no longer keep him in the house. Turns out, he had an untreated bladder infection when we'd brought him home. They also told me his vaccines were included in the $150 adoption fee, but when I took him in to get the vaccines, they said they were only covered until I took him home, and then it was my responsibility. I was really mad. After all this, I would never reccomend this vet, we've had a couple "experiences" with her too, and I am so disappointed that people can be so cruel to animals and so dishonest to people. If what is being said is true, which some of it must be since there are so many stories, I feel very lucky to have gotten a trustworthy, sweet, healthy dog, and saddened that yet again there is another person using animals as a commodity and treating them so cruel. I don't even want to think about what my dog may have been going through when he was there. I hope he was okay, and I hope that all this stops soon.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      Mar 04, 2010

    I also had a hard time with Melissa. She is definately in this purely for the money, not to "rescue" dogs. She simply rude and impossible to deal with... I would never do business with her again.

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  • Tr
      Apr 06, 2010

    I totally agree with impossible to deal with, you do not want any dealings with this breeder. I feel sorry for the dogs.

    +1 Votes
  • To
      May 13, 2010

    I honestly cannot believe these comments. I have been a volunteer for Melissa since I was 13 years old. I'm 20 now so it's been 7 years. Since then I have been in and out of her house many times! Her dogs are very much loved by her whole family, she spends all day cleaning and grooming to make sure everyone stays healthy and happy. All her dogs are loving pets in her home!! They snooze on the couch just like at any other person's home. I have two mini aussies from her and they have been fabulous dogs! She goes the extra mile for these puppies so i can't believe what you people have said about her! ALL her intact dogs and tested for numerous health issues. Hips and elbows, eyes, and routine vaccines and dewormings. If you only knew everything she has done for the canine world and the community. It makes me sick to read these things.

    0 Votes
  • To
      May 13, 2010

    I didn't even read the intial comment. Breeding designer dogs? I have have no idea where that came from!! She breeds Pomeranians and Mini aussies. That is it! Whoever made this initially obviously is just out to hurt her.

    +1 Votes
  • Nn
      May 13, 2010

    What a controversy. I've never had a problem with her. She is very straightforward and not good at "people pleasing" or being fake, but I like that about her. I like her blunt honesty. I know she takes good care of her dogs and is careful about breeding. Obviously, someone doesn't know what a puppy mill is. But it seems to always be a good emotional lie to throw at someone. They believe it, without really getting the facts. I have a recue dog from her, and we have had him for 5 years. He is a great pet and was well taken care of when we got him as a puppy. I'm not sure what the motive is for the rest of these half-truths.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      May 13, 2010

    You know there is a saying out there that "without a breeder you would not have your dog whether a mutt or a pure bred". people really need to think about that even when rescuing a dog. I know who melissa is and she is very honest about the things she does. she only breeds 2 breeds of dogs and does all testing necessary to make sure the breed quality is at the upmost perfections. i personally like how blunt and honest melissa is about things. more people should be like that. People need to not get so butt hurt of people being honest with them. She is the way she is because of all the stupid people out there. Too many breeders out there are not smart about who they sell their dogs to and their dogs continue to breed. melissa sells ALL dogs on a spay or neuter contract so that she is not having to rescue any of that puppies puppies! Just because she breeds does NOT make her a puppy mill. please go look up the definition of a puppy mill and get to know the facts before you go slandering and making accusations. "you cant judge a book by its cover." melissas dogs are very loved and taken care of. she lives on a ranch with plenty of room for the animals to play as well as letting them in the house for plenty of love. Please check your facts before you say things!

    0 Votes
  • Kr
      May 13, 2010

    I had the chance to be a technician at that animal hospital and though there were things that were different, that hospital is a very respectable clinic as well as a rescue program. I know Melissa very well and know her to be honest, to be straight forward, and yes that means at time frank about the facts, which some people have a hard time with. Our personalities were different but I find her to be an exceptional breeder being there firsthand when she rescues the aussies she rescues and when she helps better the lines she is breeding. Obviously whoever wrote this review was offended by Melissa in some way and thought it best to attack her business than to confront her. If you have a complaint about personality then talk to the person, don't slander them permanently online. Your facts are falsified and your argument weak. You shouldn't be making any more comments on another person's business and, yes, livelihood because you dislike the person.

    0 Votes
  • Mo
      May 16, 2010

    I have 2 Pomeranians that i have gotten from Melissa at different times. They are both beautiful healthy dogs well socialized. One i got as a puppy the other as an adult and she is the sweetest dog i have ever seen. She loves people and to be with people. If she had been running a puppy mill which she is NOT this adult dog that i got from her would not have been socialized, happy and healthy. I have found that Melissa is honest and straight forward and to the person who started this complaint please tell me how you can say she breeds designer dogs when she only sales Pomeranians and Aussies. All her dogs are allowed in her home on the furniture running around happy and healthy that IS NOT a puppy mill. To be honest if anything God forbid should happen to one of my dogs Melissa would be the first person I contact when I was ready for a new family member. People there have to be breeders for us to get our furry children from. I agree a puppy mill should be shut down and that the person should never be allowed to have animals again. But good Breeders give us the wonderful animals that we love and that love us. With out any breeders there would be no more dogs they would all die out there would be nothing to carry on so we need breeders breeders like Melissa who cares. Yes she complains about people breeding dogs but she just wants to be sure that the people that are breeding animals are responsible.
    I have seen all the hard work she has put in to her animals and thats the way a Good breeder should be.

    0 Votes
  • We
      May 16, 2010

    I don’t know where these people posting these negative comments get off?! Melissa is a good, responsible breeder and a good person! I have dogs from her and they are in NO way from a puppy mill! Do you people even know what kind of dogs come out of puppy mills? They are sickly, poor quality dogs. The dogs I have from Melissa are perfectly healthy and BEAUTIFUL! They are AKC standard and are show quality. Show quality dogs DONT COME FROM PUPPY MILLS! Puppy mills use any dog they can get a hold of with papers. Melissa put a lot of thought time and money in picking dogs to use in her program. And personally I like Melissa’s personality we need more people out there that are honest and not afraid to tell it like it is. I would recommend Melissa to ANYONE looking for a healthy well socialized Pomeranian or Aussie puppy! If I have any questions about the brand of food or ANYTHING about the dogs i know Melissa would be more than happy to give me her advice.

    0 Votes
  • An
      May 20, 2010

    Hmm.. Maybe y'all have never seen a true "responsible" breeder. They never have more than two or three litters a year - most even breed less than that. They also have the litter sold before they are even born. Responsible breeders never sell there puppies on KSL. Melissa has a new ad up every week!! And you say they are show quality? Says who? She has all the appearance of being a great breeder but y'all should look a bit closer. I don't think she doesn't care about her dogs, I am sure she loves them and takes care of them very well. I just don't think it's right for her to be breeding as much as she does.

    0 Votes
  • Tm
      May 21, 2010

    We have had a plethora of problems with Mellisa since purchasing our dog. When we got the dog home we noticed she had bloody diarrhea so we took her to the vet and it turned out she was malnourished and had a horrible case of giardia. After informing Mellisa of this issue, we have never been able to get in touch with her again. She will not respond to emails or phone calls. She said that the dog also had papers and that after we had her fixed that she would promptly get those to us. This has yet to happen since we cant get in touch with her. I love the dog, I just wish that Mellisa would stand behind her animals. There is no way that the vet (Mellisa's partner) could have not known about the horrible giardia. I should have known better when Mellisa was selling me the dog, she just kept suspiciously repeating over and over about how her dogs were all disease free.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      May 21, 2010

    Anyone who accuses Melissa of running a puppy mill should be sued . First of all why don't you google pictures and video of what a puppy mill looks like. If you have never been to her property to see how her dogs are cared for how dare you say something like that. Every single person that HAS been to her property reports the same thing which is that the dogs are kept just like family dogs are. NOT in cages and filth like a puppy mill. I do not blame her for not wanting total strangers to come onto her property. I would not allow that either for the safety of my family. Anyone that has rescued as many dogs, nursed them to health and taken the time to find them loving homes all for free as Melissa has does not deserve to be lumped into a catagory with people that run puppy mills. As far as her passion for spaying and nutering, immagine doing the work that she does and seeing the massive amount of animals that are killed every year because of irresponsible pet owners allowing thier animals to reproduce and tell me you would not get just as passionate and angry about the problem as she does. Spaying and nutering should be MANDATORY for pet owners and until it is this problem will not stop!!! And for the person that complains that the neighbor dog jumped the fence and they did not mean to breed thier dog well wake up!!! That is why you need to have your dog fixed. If you really never intended to breed her you would have fixed her because this is the real world and you can not keep them from breeding any other way.

    -1 Votes
  • Ki
      May 29, 2010

    I can see that this lady is posting good reviews in her defense. I also am a rescue coordinator in Utah and I can say that this lady is bad news in the community. She can say whatever she wants but she is rude and claims her motives are for saving all the dogs and cats that are put down, but she is over populating by breeding herself. There are many complaints to disprove that her dogs are checked for health issues and genetic problems. In regards to being a puppy mill, I can not say one way or the other, as she does not let people come to her home, most are sold through where she works. Just because you purchase a dog through a vet office does not mean that the dog does not have any genetic issues or not harboring diseases or other things. There are good vets and bad vets so keep this in mind. There are honest and dishonest people. They can claim to be a part of the rescue organization but just like anything, there are good and bad people. Melissa just happens to be one that we wish did not represent the rescue community. She gives rescue a bad name. She has been run out of town, banned from many places, and many have had a bad experience and run ins with her. Her actions do not represent what a true rescue person should be doing, or how they should be operating. Rescue should be for the good of the many animals that are put down each year, finding them good homes, not harassing people for their beliefs, or being rude to those people that are wishing to adopt a rescue animal. She is well known in these parts, but not for all the good she does but all the bad things. Don't let this person represent the rescue organizations in this area or others across the country, there are many people that devote their time for the greater good, and we are not breeders, contributing to the problem. Whether buying a pet from a breeder or adopting from a rescue, do your research online and see if there are any complaints on the person or organization, do your homework. We do not want the animals to suffer needlessly and want to find good homes for all, but it should be a good experience for a family adopting a new pet, not a horrible one that Melissa puts all these families through. We all wish she would just crawl in a hole and leave the rescue to professionals that love what they do, can interact with people, have people skills, and their hearts are in the right place. Melissa does not have any of these skills. Check your local area shelters and adopt a loving pet, it should be a good experience with the rescue coordinator, and you should not have to pay an arm and leg for the adoption, the adoption should include all shots, neuter/spay. You should not have to come back and be told that you have to pay out more money for additional shots, that should be included with the adoption fee.

    +1 Votes
  • To
      Jul 15, 2010

    Rescues hate her because she breeds and Breeders hate her because she rescues. All you negative people need to stop talking about things you know nothing about. If Melissa was really rude to you it's probably because you're stupid. It's hard to deal with stupid people day in and day out. So before you go slandering online you should really do some research.

    0 Votes
  • To
      Jul 15, 2010

    kittycool77 you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Your facts are bogus

    0 Votes
  • Tn
      Sep 03, 2010

    I worked with Melissa a few years ago. I have never been to her house, but from what she's described, the set up there sounds pretty good for her dogs. That said, she can be either incredibly rude to people or quite nice depending on her mood. Her moods are very unpredictable, which is what makes her so difficult to work with. She blows little things out of proportion and will yell about almost anything. It doesn't suprise me at all that she took a rescue dog and used it for breeding. She breeds way too much. Her dogs may be nice, but I wouldn't recommend going to her because she is so rude and unpredictable, and I don't think it's a good idea too support someone who over-breeds, and she definitely breeds too much.

    0 Votes
  • On
      Nov 16, 2010

    I just recently purchased a year old dog from Melissa and Carolynn. I must say that my little Ava is an excellent dog! I have had poms shipped before and some I have got were not as descibed. But the one I purchased from Melissa is EXACTLY as they said. She is very sweet, cuddly, healthy, good teeth and knees.not house trained but they warned me about that! Yes Melissa comes across as pushy but wouldn't you if you had to deal with people that were not serious and just wasted your time? I would recommend Melissa!

    0 Votes
  • Pr
      May 29, 2011

    I do know that Melissa is breeding these designer dogs. I have heard from her own kids say that they have over 35 dogs at their house in Hidaway Valley, down in Sanpete County. I have also heard it from her neighbors that live out by her that she has way too many dogs. I have talked to people that have gotten rescue dogs from her and they have had the same stories or complaints as the people who have posted here. I am sure some have had a good experience but there are many who have not had a good experience. People need to be aware of who they get their dogs from and ask to see the health certificates and things upfront. If people would do their homework it would save them a lot of heart ache. It is sad but most of the what I have seen and also witnessed first hand from Melissa has not been good, not to say that there can be good endings out there. People please just do your homework first when dealing with her.

    0 Votes
  • Or
      Oct 02, 2014

    I just want to apologize and retract my original comment that was made. It has taken years for me to realize that what I had said was not only unfair but completely false. I was immature and I worked with a bunch of people that were not good influences. I did not know Melissa personally and I based my opinion of her on what I had heard through the grape vine. She did not deserve this and has had to live with the consequences of my wrong doing. I know Melissa deeply cares for her dogs and she has come a long way and will do anything to ensure the safety and health of her dogs and children. She goes above and beyond to make sure her dogs are well taken care of and does every health test imaginable. If you are considering one of Mellisa's dogs please don't base your decision on a thread that was started by a stupid, young girl who didn't have the facts. Please do your own research and get to know Melissa for yourself. I only wish I had done the same before causing so much permanent damage to someone who has done so much for Australian Shepherds.

    0 Votes
  • Mo
      Nov 18, 2014

    I have had numerous problems with this breeder I first found her on a facebook group. I asked to if I could come to her home to see parents and puppies she said no because of risk of parvo. That she would meet me at a gas station. Then I was told by a petco employee about her rescue I said why not its a rescue I'll meet her at petco so I called she informed me she is not longer rescuing at this time then a few minutes later calls me back telling me she has two 4month old Aussie males price reduced one she decided not to keep and the other a family back out because his testicles went back up so couldn't be a breeding dog. I later got on her facebook page and seen how many litters she was expecting just in October. This lady is a bad deal.

    0 Votes
  • Au
      May 20, 2015

    I think it is pretty funny. Looking at her facebook and looking at her website, she is a puppymill that tests dogs to not be called a puppymill. She never breeds dogs outside her own breeding. That says volumes. How old are these dogs before they are bred? I know for a fact only a few years ago, she bred ### before they were 2 and when they hit 2, she sold them not to do the ofa. Seriously, ...now she throws pictures up of the ofa's completed like she turns a new leaf? She is crazy..just crazy. There is direct, but this lady is crazy.

    0 Votes

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